One of the thermoplastic limitations to producing recyclable carpet has been addressed with HYPOD(TM) Polyolefin Dispersions from The Dow Chemical Company. Despite a number of advances achieved to make carpet recyclable, providing a recyclable backing material has been a significant challenge. According to the company, HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions take carpet sustainability to the next level in multiple applications including modular carpet, broadloom, thermo-moldable products and artificial turf allowing carpet manufacturers to apply a thermoplastic backing, rather than a thermoset backing, while still using conventional coating equipment. HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions are thermoplastic and thus they are more compatible with carpet fibers and facilitate easier recycling at the end of the carpet's life.
"With more than seven billion pounds (about 3 metric tons) of carpet disposed of in North America and Europe together each year, enhancing the recyclability of carpet can have a huge environmental and economic impact," said Mike Levinson, commercial director, Dow Ventures & Business Development. "Improved technology partnered with sustainability advantages make HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions a winning choice for carpet manufacturers." Foamtex A.S., an Ikast, Denmark-based commission finisher for several carpet manufacturers, employs HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions to achieve some very specific carpet bonding properties with their unique carpet backing process. Thermoplastic backings also use less material, which may help preserve resources and energy and result in lighter weight carpeting.